List of unconfirmed impact craters on Earth

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This list of more than 130 features on Earth includes candidate impact sites that have appeared several times in the literature and/or have been endorsed by the Impact Field Studies Group (IFSG)[1] and/or Expert Database on Earth Impact Structures (EDEIS),[2]. None has been scientifically confirmed to be an impact crater, according to the Earth Impact Database (EID).[3]

Misidentified or unconfirmed impact features[edit]

The following tables list geological features on Earth that some individuals have associated with impact events, but for which there is currently no confirming scientific evidence in the peer-reviewed literature. In order for a structure to be a confirmed as an impact crater, it must meet a stringent set of well established criteria. Some proposed impact structures are eventually confirmed, whereas others are shown to be misidentified (see below). Recent extensive surveys have been done for Australian (2005),[4] African (2014),[5] and South American (2015)[6] craters, as well as those in the Arab world (2016).[7] A book review by A. Crósta and U. Reimold disputes some of the evidence presented for several of the South American structures.[8]

Ak-Bura (Murgab)
False-colour Landsat image of Darwin Crater (arrowed)
Topographic image of Iturralde Crater
Zerelia West and East

Younger than one million years old[edit]

The more than 20 unconfirmed craters in the first table are younger than one million years old and at least 0.1 km (0.062 mi) in diameter. For comparison, the largest confirmed crater in the Earth Impact Database within the last 10,000 years is the 0.3 km (0.19 mi) Macha crater in Siberia.

Name Location Diameter
(km)
Age
(in ka)
Date
(approx.)
Coordinates
Lake Cheko[citation needed] Russia (Siberia) 0.5[citation needed] ? 1908 AD[citation needed] 60°57′50″N 101°51′36″E / 60.964°N 101.86°E / 60.964; 101.86 (Cheko)[citation needed]
Ak-Bura (Murgab)[9][10] Tajikistan 0.8[citation needed] 0.3[citation needed] 1700 AD[11] 38°5′38.5″N 74°16′58″E / 38.094028°N 74.28278°E / 38.094028; 74.28278 (Ak-Bura)[citation needed]
Mahuika[citation needed] New Zealand (offshore) 20?[citation needed] 0.6[citation needed] 1400 AD[citation needed] 48°18′S 166°24′E / 48.3°S 166.4°E / -48.3; 166.4 (Mahuika)[citation needed]
Merewether[12] Canada (Newfoundland) 0.2[citation needed] 0.9[citation needed] 1100 AD[citation needed] 58°02′N 64°03′W / 58.04°N 64.05°W / 58.04; -64.05 (Merewether)[citation needed]
Sirente[citation needed] Italy 0.1[citation needed] 1.7[citation needed] 320 ± 90 AD[citation needed] 42°10′38″N 13°35′45″E / 42.17722°N 13.59583°E / 42.17722; 13.59583 (Sirente)[citation needed]
Svetloyar lake[13] Russia 0.4[citation needed] 2.6[citation needed] 600 BC[citation needed] 56°49′08″N 45°05′35″E / 56.819°N 45.093°E / 56.819; 45.093 (Svetloyar)[citation needed]
Kachchh (Luna)[14] India 2.1[citation needed] 4.0[citation needed] 2000 BC[citation needed] 23°42′17″N 69°15′37″E / 23.70472°N 69.26028°E / 23.70472; 69.26028 (Kachchh)[citation needed]
Umm al Binni[citation needed] Iraq 3.4[citation needed] <5.0[citation needed] 3000 BC[citation needed] 31°14′29″N 47°06′21″E / 31.24139°N 47.10583°E / 31.24139; 47.10583 (Umm al Binni)[citation needed]
Burckle[citation needed] Indian Ocean[citation needed] 30?[citation needed] ? 3000 BC[citation needed] 30°52′S 61°22′E / 30.86°S 61.36°E / -30.86; 61.36 (Burckle)[citation needed]
Zerelia West[15] Greece 0.2[citation needed] 7.0[citation needed] 5000 BC[citation needed] 39°09′48″N 22°42′32″E / 39.16333°N 22.70889°E / 39.16333; 22.70889 (Zerelia West)[citation needed]
Zerelia East[15] Greece 0.1[citation needed] 7.0[citation needed] 5000 BC[citation needed] 39°09′43″N 22°42′51″E / 39.16194°N 22.71417°E / 39.16194; 22.71417 (Zerelia East)[citation needed]
Smerdyacheye lake[16] Russia 0.2[citation needed] 10–30?[citation needed] 55°44′06″N 39°49′23″E / 55.735°N 39.823°E / 55.735; 39.823 (Smerdyacheye)[citation needed]
Hickman Crater[citation needed] Australia 0.3[citation needed] 10–100[citation needed] 23°2′13″S 119°40′59″E / 23.03694°S 119.68306°E / -23.03694; 119.68306 (Hickman)[citation needed]
Bloody Creek[citation needed] Canada (Nova Scotia) 0.4[citation needed] ? 44°45′N 65°14′W / 44.750°N 65.233°W / 44.750; -65.233 (Bloody Creek)[citation needed]
Iturralde[citation needed] Bolivia 8.0[citation needed] 11–30[citation needed] 12°35′S 67°40′W / 12.583°S 67.667°W / -12.583; -67.667 (Iturralde)[citation needed]
Brushy Creek Feature[17] United States (Louisiana) 2.0[citation needed] 11–30[citation needed] 30°46′N 90°44′W / 30.76°N 90.73°W / 30.76; -90.73 (Brushy Creek Feature)[citation needed]
Ouro Ndia[18] Mali 3.0[citation needed] 11–100?[11] 14°59.8′N 4°30.0′W / 14.9967°N 4.5000°W / 14.9967; -4.5000 (Ouro Ndia)[citation needed]
Mt. Oikeyama[19] Japan 0.9[citation needed] 30?[citation needed] 35°24′18″N 138°00′47″E / 35.405°N 138.013°E / 35.405; 138.013 (Oikeyama)[citation needed]
Sithylemenkat lake[20] United States (Alaska) 12[citation needed] 33?[21][22] 66°07′34″N 151°23′20″W / 66.12611°N 151.38889°W / 66.12611; -151.38889 (Sithylemenkat)[citation needed]
La Dulce crater[23] Argentina 2.8[citation needed] 445?[citation needed] 38°13′S 59°13′W / 38.21°S 59.21°W / -38.21; -59.21 (La Dulce)[citation needed]
Bajada del Diablo craters[24][25] Argentina 0.4[citation needed] 450 ± 300[citation needed] 42°46′S 67°24′W / 42.767°S 67.400°W / -42.767; -67.400 (Bajada del Diablo)[citation needed]
Darwin Crater[citation needed] Tasmania 1.2[citation needed] 816[citation needed] 42°19′S 145°40′E / 42.317°S 145.667°E / -42.317; 145.667 (Darwin crater)[citation needed]
Pantasma[citation needed] Nicaragua 10[citation needed] ? 13°22′N 85°57′W / 13.37°N 85.95°W / 13.37; -85.95 (Pantasma)[citation needed]

The Cheko crater is thought by one research group to be the result of the famous Tunguska event, although sediments in the lake have been dated back more than 5,000 years. There is highly speculative conjecture about the supposed Sirente impact (c. 320 ± 90 AD) causing the Roman emperor Constantine's vision at Milvian Bridge.[26]

The Burckle crater and Umm al Binni structure are proposed to be behind the floods that affected Sumerian civilization.[27][28] The Kachchh impact may have been witnessed by the Harappan civilization and mentioned as a fireball in Sanskrit texts.[14]

The ages of the Bloody Creek crater[29] and Hiawatha crater are disputed, with some evidence suggesting it hit glacier ice 12,000-13,000 years ago, coeval with the Younger Dryas.

As the trend in the Earth Impact Database for about 26 confirmed craters younger than a million years old show that almost all are less than two km (1.2 mi) in diameter (except the three km (1.9 mi) Agoudal and four km (2.5 mi) Rio Cuarto), the suggestion that two large craters, Mahuika (20 km (12 mi)) and Burckle (30 km (19 mi)), formed just within the last few millennia has been met with skepticism.[30][31][32]

However, the source of the young (less than a million years old) and enormous Australasian strewnfield (c. 790 ka) is suggested to be a crater about 100 km (62 mi) across somewhere in Indochina,[33][34] with Hartung and Koeberl (1994) proposing the elongated 100 km × 35 km (62 mi × 22 mi) Tonlé Sap lake in Cambodia (visible in the map at the side) as a suspect structure.[35]

Aorounga South. Aorounga Central is above this structure
Arlit crater
The Bangui magnetic anomaly in central Africa[5]
Duolun crater
El Baz crater
Silverpit crater in false colours
Sudan (Mahas) crater
A map of Sudan showing three craters
Mahas
Mahas
Bayuda
Bayuda
Red Sea Hills
Red Sea Hills
Three craters in Sudan
Ust-Kara and Kara twin? crater
Vélingara circular structure
1973 Skylab image of the Vichada Structure
Wembo-Nyama ring structure
Wilkes Land crater in Antarctica

Older than one million years old[edit]

The more than 110 suspected craters in the table below are either older than 1 Ma, or have an unknown age.

Name Location Diameter (km) Age
(in Ma)
Coordinates
38th Parallel structures United States (Missouri, etc.) 2-17 ?
Al Madafi[36][37] Saudi Arabia 6 6-66[36][37] 28°40′N 37°11′E / 28.67°N 37.18°E / 28.67; 37.18 (Al Madafi)
Alamo bolide impact United States (Nevada) 100 ± 40[11][38] 367 37°19′N 116°11′W / 37.31°N 116.18°W / 37.31; -116.18 (Alamo)
Anefis[18][39] Chad 3.9 23?[11] 18°04′19″N 0°02′53″W / 18.072°N 0.048°W / 18.072; -0.048 (Anefis)
Aorounga Central[40][41] Chad 11.6 < 345 19°13′44″N 19°15′40″E / 19.229°N 19.261°E / 19.229; 19.261 (Aorounga center)
Arganaty[42] Kazakhstan (Almaty region) 300 250[43] 46°30′N 79°48′E / 46.5°N 79.8°E / 46.5; 79.8 (Arganaty)
Arlit crater[44][45] Niger 10 ? 21°21′11″N 9°08′42″E / 21.353°N 9.145°E / 21.353; 9.145 (Arlit)
Australian impact structure Australia (Northern Territory) 600 >545 25°33′S 131°23′E / 25.550°S 131.383°E / -25.550; 131.383 (MAPCIS)
Azuara Spain 35-40 30-40 41°07′N 0°13′W / 41.117°N 0.217°W / 41.117; -0.217 (Azuara)
Bajo Hondo[46] Argentina 3.9 < 10 42°15′S 67°55′W / 42.250°S 67.917°W / -42.250; -67.917 (Bajo Hondo)
Bangui magnetic anomaly[5][47] Central African Republic 600-800? >542 6°00′N 18°18′E / 6°N 18.3°E / 6; 18.3 (Bangui)
Bateke Plateau[48] Gabon 7.1 < 2.6 0°38′45″S 14°27′29″E / 0.64583°S 14.45806°E / -0.64583; 14.45806 (Bateke)
Bedout Australia (offshore) 250 250 18°S 119°E / 18°S 119°E / -18; 119 (Bedout)
Bee Bluff[49] United States (Texas) 2.4 40? 29°02′N 99°51′W / 29.03°N 99.85°W / 29.03; -99.85 (Bee Bluff)
Björkö[50] Sweden 10 1200 59°18′N 17°36′E / 59.30°N 17.60°E / 59.30; 17.60 (Björkö)
Bohemian circular structure[51][52] Czech Republic 260-300 >700?[11] 50°00′N 14°42′E / 50.0°N 14.7°E / 50.0; 14.7 (Bohemian)
Bow City Canada (Alberta) 8 70 50°25′N 112°16′W / 50.417°N 112.267°W / 50.417; -112.267 (Bow City)
Bowers crater[53] Antarctic Ocean (Ross Sea) 100 3-5[54][55] 71°12′S 176°00′E / 71.2°S 176°E / -71.2; 176 (Bowers)
Catalina structures[56]
(Navy, Catalina, Emery Knoll)
Pacific Ocean (NE) 12, 32, 37 16-18 32°55′N 118°05′W / 32.91°N 118.09°W / 32.91; -118.09 (Catalina)
Cerro do Jarau[57][58] Brazil (Paraná) 10 117 30°12′S 56°32′W / 30.200°S 56.533°W / -30.200; -56.533 (Cerro)
Charity Shoal Crater Canada (Ontario) 1.2 <470 44°2′15″N 76°29′37″W / 44.03750°N 76.49361°W / 44.03750; -76.49361 (Charity Shoal)
Corossol Canada (Quebec) 4 <470 50°03′N 66°23′W / 50.050°N 66.383°W / 50.050; -66.383 (Corossol)
Decorah crater United States (Iowa) 5.6 470 43°18′50″N 91°46′20″W / 43.31389°N 91.77222°W / 43.31389; -91.77222 (Decorah)
Dumas magnetic anomaly[59] Canada (Saskatchewan) 3.2 70 ± 5 49°55′N 102°07′W / 49.92°N 102.12°W / 49.92; -102.12 (Dumas)
Duolun[60] China (Inner Mongolia) 120 ± 50 129 ± 3 42°3′N 116°15′E / 42.050°N 116.250°E / 42.050; 116.250 (Duolun)
El-Baz[41][61] Egypt 4 ? 24°12′N 26°24′E / 24.200°N 26.400°E / 24.200; 26.400 (El-Baz)
Eltanin impact Pacific Ocean (SE) 35? 2.5 57°47′S 90°47′W / 57.783°S 90.783°W / -57.783; -90.783 (Eltanin)
Faya Basin[62] Chad 2 385 ± 15 18°10′N 19°34′E / 18.167°N 19.567°E / 18.167; 19.567 (Faya)
Falkland Plateau
anomaly[63][64][65][66]
Atlantic Ocean
(near the Falkland Islands)
250-300 250[11] 51°S 62°W / 51°S 62°W / -51; -62 (Malvinas)
Fried Egg structure[67] Atlantic Ocean 6 17 36°N 27°W / 36°N 27°W / 36; -27 (Fried Egg)
Garet El Lefet[68][69] Libya 3 ? 25°00′N 16°30′E / 25.0°N 16.5°E / 25.0; 16.5 ("Garet El Lefet")
Gatun structure Panama 3 20 09°05′58″N 79°47′22″W / 9.09944°N 79.78944°W / 9.09944; -79.78944 (Gatun structure)
General San Martin[23][70] Argentina 11 1.2 38°0′S 63°18′W / 38.000°S 63.300°W / -38.000; -63.300 (General San Martin)
Gnargoo[71] Australia (Western Australia) 75 <300 24°48′24″S 115°13′29″E / 24.80667°S 115.22472°E / -24.80667; 115.22472 (Gnargoo)
Guarda Portugal 30 200 40°38′N 07°06′W / 40.633°N 7.100°W / 40.633; -7.100 (Guarda)
Hiawatha crater Greenland 31 <1985[72] 78°44′N 66°14′W / 78.733°N 66.233°W / 78.733; -66.233 (Hiawatha)
Hartney anomaly[59][73] Canada (Manitoba) 8 120 ± 20 49°24′N 100°40′W / 49.4°N 100.67°W / 49.4; -100.67 (Hartney)
Hico structure[74] United States (Texas) 9 < 60 32°01′N 98°02′W / 32.01°N 98.03°W / 32.01; -98.03 (Hico)
Hotchkiss[75] Canada (Alberta) 4 220 ± 100 57°32′20″N 118°52′41″W / 57.539°N 118.878°W / 57.539; -118.878 (Hotchkiss)
Howell structure[76][77] United States (Tennessee) 2.5 380 ± 10 35°14′N 86°37′W / 35.23°N 86.61°W / 35.23; -86.61 (Howell)
Ibn-Batutah[78] Libya 2.5 120 ± 20 21°34′10″N 20°50′15″E / 21.56944°N 20.83750°E / 21.56944; 20.83750 (Ibn-Batutah)
Ishim impact structure[79] Kazakhstan (Akmola region) 300 430-460[80] 52°0′N 69°0′E / 52.000°N 69.000°E / 52.000; 69.000 (Ishim Akmola)
Jackpine Creek
magnetic anomaly[81]
Canada (British Columbia) 25 120 ± 20 55°36′N 120°06′W / 55.6°N 120.1°W / 55.6; -120.1 (Jackpine)
Jebel Hadid[82] Libya 4.7 < 66 20°52′12″N 22°42′18″E / 20.87000°N 22.70500°E / 20.87000; 22.70500 (Jebel Hadid)
Jeptha Knob United States (Kentucky) 4.3 425 38°11′N 85°07′W / 38.183°N 85.117°W / 38.183; -85.117 (Jeptha Knob)
Jwaneng South[83] Botswana 1.3 < 66 24°42′S 24°46′E / 24.700°S 24.767°E / -24.700; 24.767 (Jwaneng South)
Kebira Egypt 31 100 24°40′N 24°58′E / 24.667°N 24.967°E / 24.667; 24.967 (Kebira)
Kilmichael[84] United States (Mississippi) 13 45 33°30′N 89°33′W / 33.5°N 89.55°W / 33.5; -89.55 (Kilmichael)
Krk structure[85] Croatia 12 40 45°04′N 14°37′E / 45.06°N 14.62°E / 45.06; 14.62 (Krk)
Kurai Basin[86] Russia (Altai) 20 <200 50°12′N 87°54′E / 50.200°N 87.900°E / 50.200; 87.900 (Kurai)
Labynkyr ring[87][88] Russia 67 150?[11] 62°19′30″N 143°05′24″E / 62.325°N 143.090°E / 62.325; 143.090 (Labynkyr)
Lairg Gravity Low Scotland 40 1200 58°1′12″N, 4°24′0″W
Lake Iro (Lac Iro)[5][89] Chad 13 ? 10°10′N 19°40′E / 10.167°N 19.667°E / 10.167; 19.667 (Iro Lake)
Lake Tai (Tai Hu)[90] China (Jiangsu) 70 ± 5 365 ± 5[91] 31°14′N 120°8′E / 31.233°N 120.133°E / 31.233; 120.133 (Tai)
Loch Leven[92] Scotland 18x8 290 56°12′N 3°23′W / 56.200°N 3.383°W / 56.200; -3.383 (Loch Leven)
Lorne Basin[93] Australia (New South Wales) 30 250 ± 2 31°36′S 152°37′E / 31.60°S 152.62°E / -31.60; 152.62 (Lorne)
Lycksele structure[94][95] Sweden 130 1500 ± 300 64°55′N 18°47′E / 64.92°N 18.78°E / 64.92; 18.78 (Lycksele)
Madagascar structure 3[96] Madagascar 12 ? 18°50′20″S 46°13′16″E / 18.839°S 46.221°E / -18.839; 46.221 (Madagascar)
Magyarmecske anomaly[97] Hungary 7 299 45°57′N 17°58′E / 45.95°N 17.97°E / 45.95; 17.97 (Magyarmecske)
Maniitsoq structure[98][99] Greenland 100 3000 65°15′N 51°50′W / 65.250°N 51.833°W / 65.250; -51.833 (Maniitsoq)
Mejaouda (El Mrayer)[69][18][100] Mauritania 3 < 542?[11] 22°43′19″N 7°18′43″W / 22.722°N 7.312°W / 22.722; -7.312 (Mejaouda)
Meseta de la Barda Negra[101] Argentina 1.5 4 ± 1 39°10′S 69°53′W / 39.167°S 69.883°W / -39.167; -69.883 (Barda Negra)
Middle-Urals Ring Structure[102][103] Russia 400–550 >542 56°N 56°E / 56°N 56°E / 56; 56 (Urals Ring)
Mistassini-Otish impact structure Quebec, Canada) 600[104] 2200 50°34′N 73°25′W / 50.57°N 73.42°W / 50.57; -73.42 (Mistassini lake)
Mount Ashmore dome[105][106] Indian Ocean (in Timor Sea) >50 35
Mousso[107] Chad 3.8 < 542 17°58′N 10°53′E / 17.967°N 10.883°E / 17.967; 10.883 (Mousso)
Mulkarra[108] Australia (South Australia) 17 105 27°51′S 138°55′E / 27.85°S 138.92°E / -27.85; 138.92 (Mulkarra)
Nastapoka (Hudson Bay) arc Canada (Quebec) 450 1800?[11] 57°00′N 78°50′W / 57.000°N 78.833°W / 57.000; -78.833 (Hudson Bay)
Ouro Ndia[18] Mali 3 <2.6 14°59′N 4°30′W / 14.983°N 4.500°W / 14.983; -4.500 (Ouro Ndia)
Panther Mountain United States (New York) 10 375 42°03′N 74°24′W / 42.050°N 74.400°W / 42.050; -74.400 (Panther Mountain)
Peerless structure[109] United States (Montana) 6 470 ± 10 48°48′N 105°48′W / 48.8°N 105.8°W / 48.8; -105.8 (Peerless)
Piratininga[57] Brazil (Paraná) 12 117 22°28′S 49°09′W / 22.467°S 49.150°W / -22.467; -49.150 (Piratininga)
Praia Grande[57][58] Brazil (São Paulo, offshore) 20 84 25°39′S 45°37′W / 25.650°S 45.617°W / -25.650; -45.617 (prai grande)
Ramgarh India (Rajasthan) 3 ? 25°20′16″N 76°37′29″E / 25.33778°N 76.62472°E / 25.33778; 76.62472 (Ramgarh)
Ross crater[54] Antarctic Ocean (Ross Sea) 600? <38 77°30′S 178°30′E / 77.5°S 178.5°E / -77.5; 178.5 (Ross)
Rubielos de la Cérida Spain 80x40 30-40 40°46′59″N 1°15′00″W / 40.783°N 1.25°W / 40.783; -1.25 (Rubielos)
Sakhalinka[110] Pacific Ocean (NW) 12 70 30°15′N 170°03′E / 30.250°N 170.050°E / 30.250; 170.050 (Sakhalinka)
São Miguel do Tapuio[58][111] Brazil (Piauí) 22 120[11] 5°37.6′S 41°23.3′W / 5.6267°S 41.3883°W / -5.6267; -41.3883 (Sao Miguel Do Tapuio)
Shanghewan[112][113] China (Jilin) 30 ? 44°29′N 126°11′E / 44.483°N 126.183°E / 44.483; 126.183 (Shangewan)
Shiva crater Indian Ocean 500 66 18°40′N 70°14′E / 18.667°N 70.233°E / 18.667; 70.233 (Shiva)
Shiyli dome[114] Kazakhstan 5.5 46 ± 7 49°10′N 57°51′E / 49.167°N 57.850°E / 49.167; 57.850 (Shiyli)
Silverpit Atlantic Ocean (North Sea) 20[115] 60 ± 15 54°14′N 1°51′E / 54.233°N 1.850°E / 54.233; 1.850 (Silverpit)
Snows Island (Johnsonville) United States (South Carolina) 11 300?[11] 33°49′N 79°22′W / 33.817°N 79.367°W / 33.817; -79.367 (Snows Island)
Sudan 3 (Mahas) Sudan 2.8 ? 20°01.9′N 30°13.7′E / 20.0317°N 30.2283°E / 20.0317; 30.2283 (Mahas)
Sudan 2 (Bayuda)[116][117] Sudan 10 ? 18°03.5′N 33°30.2′E / 18.0583°N 33.5033°E / 18.0583; 33.5033 (Bayuda)
Sudan 1 (Red Sea Hills)[118] Sudan 6 ? 17°57.1′N 37°56.1′E / 17.9517°N 37.9350°E / 17.9517; 37.9350 (Red Sea)
Takamatsu[119] Japan 4-8 15 34°18′N 134°03′E / 34.3°N 134.05°E / 34.3; 134.05 (Takamatsu)
Tarek (Gilf Kebir)[120][121] Egypt 2.1 112?[11] 24°36′04″N 27°12′18″E / 24.601°N 27.205°E / 24.601; 27.205 (Tarek)
Tatarsky North[122] Pacific Ocean (NW) 14 ? 49°57′35″N 141°23′40″E / 49.95972°N 141.39444°E / 49.95972; 141.39444 (Tatarsky1)
Tatarsky South[122] Pacific Ocean (NW) 20 ? 48°17′38″N 141°23′40″E / 48.29389°N 141.39444°E / 48.29389; 141.39444 (Tatarsky2)
Tefé River structure[58][123] Brazil (Amazonas) 15 65 ± 20 4°57′S 66°03′W / 4.950°S 66.050°W / -4.950; -66.050 (Tefé)
Talundilly[124] Australia (Queensland) 84 128 ± 5 24°44′S 144°37′E / 24.73°S 144.62°E / -24.73; 144.62 (Talundilly)
Temimichat[125] Mauritania 0.7 2?[11] 24°15′N 9°39′W / 24.250°N 9.650°W / 24.250; -9.650 (Temimichat)
Tsenkher[126] Mongolia 3.6 5 43°38′41″N 98°22′09″E / 43.64472°N 98.36917°E / 43.64472; 98.36917 (Tsenkher)
Toms Canyon United States (New Jersey) 22 35 39°08′N 72°51′W / 39.133°N 72.850°W / 39.133; -72.850 (Toms Canyon)
Unnamed impact[127] Australia (Queensland) 130 300 22°09′S 141°54′E / 22.150°S 141.900°E / -22.150; 141.900 (Winton crustal anomaly)
Ust-Kara[128] Russia (Nenetsia, offshore) 25 70 ± 2.2 69°17′N 65°21′E / 69.28°N 65.35°E / 69.28; 65.35 (Ust-Kara)
Vélingara[129] Senegal 48 23-40 13°02′N 14°08′W / 13.033°N 14.133°W / 13.033; -14.133 (Vélingara)
Versailles cryptoexplosion[130] United States (Kentucky) 1.5 <400 38°05′N 84°40′W / 38.09°N 84.67°W / 38.09; -84.67 (Versailles)
Vichada Structure Colombia 50 30?[11] 4°30′N 69°15′W / 4.500°N 69.250°W / 4.500; -69.250 (Vichada)
Victoria Island structure United States (California) 5.5 37-49 37°53′N 121°32′W / 37.89°N 121.53°W / 37.89; -121.53 (Victoria Island structure)
Warburton East[131][132] Australia (South Australia) 200 300-360[133] 28°00′S 140°30′E / 28°S 140.5°E / -28; 140.5 (Warbuton)
Warburton West[132] Australia (South Australia) 200 300-360[133]
Weaubleau structure United States (Missouri) 19 330 ± 10 38°00′N 93°36′W / 38.0°N 93.6°W / 38.0; -93.6 (Weaubleau)
Wembo-Nyama (Omeonga)
ring structure
[134][135]
DR Congo 36-46 60? 3°37′52″S 24°31′07″E / 3.63111°S 24.51861°E / -3.63111; 24.51861 (Wembo-Nyama ring structure)
Wilkes Land crater Antarctica 480 250-500 70°S 120°E / 70°S 120°E / -70; 120 (Wilkes)
Woodbury astrobleme[136] United States (Georgia) 7 500 ± 100 32°55′N 84°33′W / 32.92°N 84.55°W / 32.92; -84.55 (Woodbury)
Yallalie[137][138] Australia (Western Australia) 12 99?[11] 30°26′40″S 115°46′16″E / 30.44444°S 115.77111°E / -30.44444; 115.77111 (Yallalie)

The Decorah crater has been conjectured as being part of the Ordovician meteor event.[139]

Several twin impacts have been proposed such as the Rubielos de la Cérida and Azuara (30–40 Ma),[140] Cerro Jarau and Piratininga (c. 117 Ma),[57] and Warburton East and West (300–360 Ma).[132] However, adjacent craters may not necessarily have formed at the same time such as case of the confirmed Clearwater East and West lakes.

Some confirmed impacts like Sudbury or Chicxulub are also sources of magnetic anomalies[141] and/or gravity anomalies. The magnetic anomalies Bangui and Jackpine Creek,[81] the gravity anomalies Wilkes Land crater and Falkland Islands,[63] and others have been considered as being of impact origin. Bangui apparently has been discredited,[41][142] but appears again in a 2014 table of unconfirmed structures in Africa by Reimold and Koeberl.[5]

Several anomalies in Williston Basin were identified by Swatzky in the 1970s as astroblemes including Viewfield, Red Wing Creek, Eagle Butte, Dumas, and Hartney, of which only the last two are unconfirmed.[59]

The Eltanin impact has been confirmed (via an iridium anomaly and meteoritic material from ocean cores) but, as it fell into the Pacific Ocean, apparently no crater was formed. The age of Silverpit and the confirmed Boltysh crater (65.17 ± 0.64 Ma), as well as their latitude, has led to the speculative hypothesis that there may have been several impacts during the KT boundary.[143][144] Of the five oceans in descending order by area, namely the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Antarctic, and Arctic, only the smallest (the Arctic) does not yet have a proposed unconfirmed impact crater.

Craters larger than 100 km in the Phanerozoic (after 541 Ma) are notable for their size as well as for the possible coeval events associated with them especially the major extinction events.

For example, the Ishim impact structure[79] is conjectured to be bounded by the late Ordivician-early Silurian (c. 445 ± 5 Ma),[80] the two Warburton basins has been linked to the Late Devonian extinction (c. 360 Ma),[133] both Bedout and the Wilkes Land crater have been associated with the severe Permian–Triassic extinction event (c. 252 Ma),[145][146] Manicouagan (c. 215 Ma) was once thought to be connected to the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event (c. 201 Ma)[147] but more recent dating has made it unlikely, while the consensus is the Chicxulub impact caused the one for Cretaceous–Paleogene (c. 66 Ma).

However, other extinction theories employ coeval periods of massive volcanism such as the Siberian Traps.

Undiscovered but inferred[edit]

An approximate map of the strewnfield.
Australasian strewnfield. Shaded areas represent tektite finds.

There is geological evidence for impact events having taken place on Earth on certain specific occasions, which should have formed craters, but for which no impact craters have been found. In some cases this is because of erosion and Earth's crust having been recycled through plate tectonics, in others likely because exploration of the Earth's surface is incomplete. Typically the ages are already known and the diameters can be estimated.

Parent Crater of Expected Crater Diameter (km) Age
Dakhleh glass[148][149] 0.4 km 150 ka
Argentinian tektites[150] 5 km 480 ka
Australasian tektites[34] 32–114 km 780 ka
Central American tektites[151][152] 14 km 820 ka
Skye ejecta deposits[153] Unknown 60 Ma
Stac Fada Member 40 km 1.2 Ga
Barberton Greenstone Belt microtektites[154] 500 km 3.2 Ga
Marble Bar impact spherules[155] "hundreds of kilometers" 3.4 Ga

Formerly unconfirmed[edit]

As of Jan 2017, the Earth Impact Database has risen to 190 confirmed impact craters (from 178 by the end of 2010). The following had their status upgraded from unconfirmed to confirmed in the last few years.

Year confirmed Name Location Diameter (km) Age Coordinates
2011 Carancas Peru 0.01 12 years 16°40′S 69°03′W / 16.667°S 69.050°W / -16.667; -69.050 (Carancas)
2011 Luizi DR Congo 17 570 Ma (approx.) 10°10′S 28°00′E / 10.167°S 28.000°E / -10.167; 28.000 (Luizi)
2011 Matt Wilson crater Australia 7.5 1400 ± 400 Ma 15°30′S 131°11′E / 15.500°S 131.183°E / -15.500; 131.183 (Matt Wilson)
2011 Ritland Norway 2.7 520 ± 20 Ma 59°14′N 6°26′E / 59.233°N 6.433°E / 59.233; 6.433 (Ritland)
2013 Colônia Brazil 3.6 5–36 Ma 23°52′S 46°43′W / 23.867°S 46.717°W / -23.867; -46.717 (Colonia)
2013 Tunnunik (Prince Albert) Canada 25 130–450 Ma 72°28′N 113°58′W / 72.467°N 113.967°W / 72.467; -113.967 (Tunnunik)
2014 Malingen Sweden 1.0 458 Ma (approx.) 62°55′N 14°33′E / 62.917°N 14.550°E / 62.917; 14.550 (Malingen)
2015 Santa Marta Brazil 10 66–100 Ma 10°10′S 45°15′W / 10.167°S 45.250°W / -10.167; -45.250 (Santa Marta)
2015 Suvasvesi South Finland 3.8 250 Ma (approx.) 62°36′N 28°13′E / 62.600°N 28.217°E / 62.600; 28.217 (Suvasvesi)
2015 Hummeln Sweden 1.2 443–470 Ma 57°22′N 16°15′E / 57.367°N 16.250°E / 57.367; 16.250 (Hummeln)
2016 Agoudal[156] Morocco 3.0 105 ka? 31°59′N 5°30′W / 31.983°N 5.500°W / 31.983; -5.500 (Agoudal)
2016 Saqqar[157] Saudi Arabia 34 70–410 Ma 29°35′N 38°42′E / 29.583°N 38.700°E / 29.583; 38.700 (Saqqar)

Malingen crater is thought to be a double impact with Lockne crater.[158] The pair, plus Hummeln and several other Ordovician craters in a small region in Europe, have been speculated to be connected to the Ordovician meteor event.[159]

Mistaken identity[edit]

Some geological processes can result in circular or near-circular features that may be mistaken for impact craters. Some examples are calderas, maars, sinkholes, glacial cirques, igneous intrusions, ring dikes, salt domes, geologic domes, ventifacts, tuff rings, forest rings, and others. Conversely, an impact crater may originally be thought as one of these geological features, like Meteor Crater (as a maar) or Upheaval Dome (as a salt dome).

The presence of shock metamorphism and shatter cones are important criteria in favor of an impact interpretation, though massive landslides (such as the Köfels landslide of 7800 BC which was once thought to be impact-related) may produce shock-like fused rocks called "frictionite".[160]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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